Breakfast Bars

A big issue among coeliacs is breakfast. Breakfast obviously sets you up for the day. There is never a time when this is more in important than in Ramadan. After all Sehri/Suhoor needs to set you up for something like 17 hours if you live in the UK this year. Compare that to a winter fast where the day was barely 10 hours!!

Finding food which fills you up for a long time is a major issue if you are coeliac. Foods which contain whole grain, slow releasing carbohydrates are excellent like wheat, rye, oats and barely…its just that as a coeliac we cannot eat them…not even a grain! Although my body can tolerate pure oats (oats which have not been milled with gluten containing ingredients) I still can’t eat them in large quantities and have to be careful so as such am constantly on the hunt for something which will fill me up and which is obviously gluten free.

Alhumdulilah I discovered that corn meal was really filling when I made mealie pap a few weeks ago and since then I have been experimenting to find other ways of eating it.

These breakfast bars are great, they are very filling. The corn meal is wholegrain which is fantastic for coeliacs and non coeliacs alike, it is also a complex carbohydrate which stays in the body for longer. The sunflower seeds contain magnesium which is important for healthy bones, a must for coeliacs.

When making these bars, I wanted to make something which wasn’t sweet. I appreciate the fact that everyone has different sugar tolerances and so suggest that if you have a sweeter tooth add some more sugar at the start. The sour cherries balance out the sweetness of the dates, while the sunflower seeds add texture. Inshallah this will help fill you up for the long days ahead.

Ramadan Kareem

50g pitted dates chopped in to quarters
25g sour cherries (sweetened dried sour cherries)
25g sunflower seeds
25g sugar (add more to suit your taste)
1 cup of fine corn meal

1. In a pan place ½ a cup of water (this must be the same size cup as you use to measure the corn meal) with the pitted chopped dates
2. Place the pan on a low heat until the dates are soft and the water has taken on the colour of the dates.
3. Pour the sugar into the date water and set aside.
4. Measure out 1 cup of fine corn meal and mix it with ½ of hot water to form a crumb texture.
5. Set aside a ¼ of the corn crumbs
6. In the remaining ¾ corn mix slowly a little water so that it sticks together but is still stiff
7. Add the stiff corn mix to the dates and water and keep on a low heat
stirring all the time, use either a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon.
8. When a ball forms add the remaining corn crumbs and stir
9. Add the sour cherries and sunflower seeds
10. Line a tin/oven proof dish with baking paper (the tin should be
approximately the size of a normal paperback book) and pack the mixture in. Pack it in quite well so that there are no hidden air bubbles.
11. Place in a 200 degree oven on the bottom shelf for 15 mins.
12. After 15 remove from the oven allow to cool, chop into approximately 6 logs.
13. Place the logs on a baking sheet and bake again for a further 20 mins.

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